Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Integrative Physiology

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew McQueen

Second Advisor

Dr. David Sherwood

Third Advisor

Dr. Soo Rhee


The purpose of this honors thesis project is to characterize the sexual practices of rural Nicaraguan teenagers and the cultural and social factors that influence these practices. Previous studies have only sampled rural Nicaraguan populations on a limited basis and many of these studies were done in the 1990s and early 2000s and may not paint an accurate picture any more. In order to update this information, an anonymous survey was administered to secondary school students at two different institutions in Chacraseca, Nicaragua (n=193). The survey investigated the relationship between sexual practices and religion, “machismo” culture, media, knowledge, and family and peer pressure. Based on results from this study, recommendations have been made to the Health Outreach for Latin America (HOLA) Foundation and other non-profit organizations that work in rural Nicaragua about how to improve sexual health education programs.